Archives for posts with tag: MOOCs

Photo by Adam Przewoski, via Unsplash

Mindshift’s Ki Sung reports on an interesting partnership between librarians at the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), which is an online education nonprofit organization. The article starts out with the statistic that about five percent of those enrolled in massive online courses (MOOCs) actually complete the course. Perhaps if online students had access to more support from others also taking the course, there will be greater success with completion rates.

Enter an innovative partnership that offers a Learning Circles program which, with the help of a facilitator, brings together people taking an online course for six to eight weeks. “Learning Circles add a social element to what is otherwise a solitary learning experience.”

As stated in the article, libraries are a perfect fit for Learning Circles because:

  • they already serve the local community
  • they are equipped with meeting spaces
  • many have computer stations
  • librarians know how to help people find answers

In the partnership, librarians, in their facilitator roles, promote discussion and help learners use research tools.

How can something so great not produce positive outcomes? These were mentioned (directly quoted) in the article:

  • CPL’s outreach efforts helped a new population of learners take advantage of MOOCs — 90 percent of those who attended a Learning Circle heard about it through the library and 65 percent of those had never taken an online course before
  • Retention rates were around 45 – 55 percent… [and] students were more compelled to take online courses on their own after the guided experience and continued to do work outside of the learning circles
  • Learning Circles also helped librarians interact with patrons in new ways. They found themselves forming friendships and building community through repeated interactions

Image Credit: Longwing Butterfly, by Rachel Kramer, via Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0) license


The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you. – B. B. King

Open Culture curates a wonderful list of over 150 free business courses, many being offered by leading universities, that includes topics such as general business, economics, math, computer science, entrepreneurship, and foreign language. You can download the audio and video courses via iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites, straight to your computer or mp3 player. In addition to business, Open Culture provides access to 1150 free online courses, covering a variety of subjects ranging from humanities to sciences from universities such as Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more.



Photo Credit: Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Marty Cassatt, by Mike Licht

Photo Credit: Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary Cassatt, by Mike Licht

Whitney Grace at Beyond Search has written about a great site called Open Culture with the tagline,”The best free & educational media on the web.” This site has over 570 free eBooks you can legally download. Whitney highlights that all the works that make up the Harvard Classics are available. When you are on the home page, you are greeted with a slew of options for free courses (including business), free movies, free language lessons, free ebooks and texts, and free great lectures.

Quartz’s Max Nisen writes about a new online offering by Harvard Business School that breaks away from traditional education and MOOCs. Nisen writes:

“Rather than offering free courses to the masses or creating a full online degree, it’s rolling out a $1,500, two-month program targeted at college students and recent graduates. Though its new platform is inspired by social networks and gaming platforms, the core of the curriculum will be the 100-year-old, case study teaching method, which HBS is known for.”

The program is called CORe (Credential of Readiness) and has three courses: Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting. It is intended to provide a basic set of tools for those with little or no business experience.

Futurist Thomas Frey boldly predicts, in his recent post on that by 2030, over 50% of colleges will collapse. He lists several driving forces that are causing this disruption in higher education, with links to key metrics. These forces are rising costs, demand for online courses, seeds of discontent (college graduates are working minimum wage jobs), shifting trends (MOOCs, reversal in the demand for cognitive tasks), and student loan backlash. He focuses in on “eight core issues for colleges that will drive a wedge between business-as-usual and the unstoppable forces of change” and they are:

  1. Overhead costs too high
  2. Substandard classes and teachers
  3. Increasingly visible rating systems
  4. Inconvenience of time and place
  5. Pricing competition
  6. Credentialing system competition
  7. Relationships formed in colleges will be replaced with other relationship-building systems
  8. Sudden realization that “the emperor has no clothes!”

Morten T. Hansen (HBR Blog Network) writes a post entitled Executive Education is Ripe for Online Disruption that discusses how the executive education market is at risk to be overtaken by online education. Hansen cites the examples of how Khan Academy and MOOCs are disrupting elementary school and college education via an “online revolution.” Executive educators are hoping that their “person-to-person” sharing (or tacit knowledge) strategy will keep them protected from change.

Hansen lists the drivers accelerating online disruption in Exec Ed:

  • Many companies have online learning platforms they need content for, creating demand;
  • Spending a week in an exec ed program is consuming so much time that alternatives such as a hybrid online program look attractive;
  • Ever-better technologies make the online experience more appealing;
  • Pressures on cost will lead to more adoption of online exec ed;
  • Another reason for getting people together in an exec ed program — that of networking — can be done through online networking tool, so why meet?
Photo Credit: Princeton Tiger by Mark Skrobola

Photo Credit: Princeton Tiger by Mark Skrobola

Stephen Abram (Stephen’s Lighthouse), posts an article from Education Database Online that lists 10 of the great schools that are now offering free online courses. “While these courses often can’t be used toward a degree, they do provide students all over the world with the opportunity to learn, grow, and potentially even prepare themselves for the working world.” They are: Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan, Princeton University and Caltech.